LAHORE: Despite the import of urea, farmers complain that market costs for compost have climbed significantly. Amanullah Chattha, vice-president of Kissan Board Pakistan, said in a statement here on Thursday that although the government imported 33,000 tonnes of fertiliser from abroad, urea compost is sold for Rs3,000 per bag in the local market.

He said that the first irrigation of the wheat harvest is almost around the corner, but the farmers are struggling to obtain the compost, which the Rabi crops use heavily.

In contrast to the official rate of Rs2,250 a bag, he claimed that producers are compelled to buy urea on the underground market for Rs3,000 per bag.

He claimed that a group of urea producers and fertiliser suppliers is conspiring to rob farmers by artificially depleting supplies of compost just when it is most needed, while the relevant government agencies are failing to notice the dishonest activity and driving the nation closer to food insecurity.

Six large fertiliser companies, including Fauji Fertiliser, Engro Fertiliser Company, Dawood Hercules, and Fatima Fertilisers, generate about 6.5 million tonnes of compost annually but urea offtake is just 6.1million tonnes.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022

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